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Paralympic athletes heading to Toyko

PARALYMPIC GAMES ROUND-UP: Congratulations to all of our competing students and alumni

After what can only be described as a spectacular Paralympic Games, we’ve been celebrating the successes of our national team, which included five UoB past and present.

The dedication and determination of the 228 British athletes was clear from the outset, resulting in the team bringing home 124 medals, and setting many world records in the process.

Contributing to this were several alumni of the University of Birmingham, as well as one current student Ali Jawad. PhD student Ali is a British Paralympic Powerlifter, who competed in the men’s up to 59 kg class in Tokyo.

Competing in his fourth Paralympic Games, Ali finished in sixth place, a fantastic achievement for the former world champion who continuously proves that anything is possible.

Fellow returning Paralympian and UoB alumna Laura Sugar was a former Welsh International Hockey player, who took up athletics in 2013 after being inspired by the 2012 Paralympic Games. She joined the University of Birmingham in 2013 where she studied a PGDipED in Physical Education.

After being selected for the Games in Tokyo, and sailing through the Para Canoe Sprint Heats on 2 September, Laura won gold in the Para Canoe 200m final after recording a Paralympic best time of 49.582.

Also setting Paralympic records was Para Cycling athlete and alumna Lora Fachie, who retained gold with guide Corrine Hall in the women’s 3,000m individual pursuit, eventually winning by two seconds in what was another world record for the former UoB student.

Lora, who has spent a decade competing in British Para Cycling, stepped up for both the Women’s B Road Race and Road Time Trial, winning a silver and gold medal respectively.

And proving gold definitely run’s in the family, Lora was joined at the Izu Velodrome in Tokyo by her husband Neil Fachie, who took gold in the men’s 1,000m, clocking a world record time in the process.

Finally, flying the flag for both Great Britain and the University of Birmingham at the Games was Para Triathlete and Physiotherapy alumni Alison Peasgood, after being named in Great Britain’s eight-person triathlon squad.

Alison competed in the Para Triathlon VI Final alongside her guide and fellow UoB alumni Nikki Bartlett, and crossed the finish line in fourth place.

With the Paralympics closely following the Olympic Games, it has been a remarkably packed few weeks for British athletics, and here at the University of Birmingham we have been extremely proud to watch our deserving students and alumni take to both the events and the winner’s podiums

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